But the nation's labor market is still slow to pick up speed, suggested Richard Koss, director of mortgage market analysis for Fannie Mae, and there are other serious headwinds still facing the housing recovery.
While speaking at the SourceMedia mortgage servicing conference in Dallas, Koss
depicted a market where home prices are affordable on the backs of low interest rates, but qualifying for a mortgage or even having enough saved up for a downpayment remains a challenge for many Americans, especially the nation's youngest adult population.
And until the jobs situation fully recovers, housing may hit the ceiling.
"We lost about 9 million jobs in the private sector from the peak to the trough of the recession," Koss
"We have recovered about 6 million of those jobs, so we are two-thirds of the way back.
But it has been four years, and we really should be well past that because the overall population has grown in the meantime, so it still remains a pretty anemic recovery."
Since the housing market generally leads a nation out of recession, the recent downturn broke with tradition, Koss
For starters, construction hiring failed to contribute to overall job growth until a year after the economy itself recovered.
The country also lost 2 million construction jobs during the recession and has recovered only 300,000 of them, he
, on the other hand, is comfortable with today's rising home prices, but sees lingering risks.
"In the wake of the bubble bursting, we obviously raised our credit standards, but loans are consistently being delivered to us at the top end of the standards," Koss